Doctors, patients still have questions about Affordable Care Act

Doctors, patients still have questions about Affordable Care Act

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As hundreds lined up in Maryville to get free healthcare, the doctors and patients still have a lot of questions about the impact of the law and what it could mean for Remote Area Medical. As hundreds lined up in Maryville to get free healthcare, the doctors and patients still have a lot of questions about the impact of the law and what it could mean for Remote Area Medical.
"Even if you have general medical coverage there are still people who fall through the cracks. There are a lot of people who fall through the cracks," said Carol Bompart. "Even if you have general medical coverage there are still people who fall through the cracks. There are a lot of people who fall through the cracks," said Carol Bompart.
"With employers being uncertain of how it's going to affect their businesses they are scaling back on benefits some for their employees and were seeing an increasing need here particularly in the short run," said Dr. McCroskey. "With employers being uncertain of how it's going to affect their businesses they are scaling back on benefits some for their employees and were seeing an increasing need here particularly in the short run," said Dr. McCroskey.
"I'm very appreciative. I'm so glad they are here to help us," said April Vanderpool. "I'm very appreciative. I'm so glad they are here to help us," said April Vanderpool.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

MARYVILLE (WATE) - Health insurance exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act will be opening in a couple months.

As hundreds of patients lined up for free healthcare in Maryville, doctors and patients wondered about the impact of the law and what it could mean for Remote Area Medical, the organization providing the free care.

The controversial Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010 with a goal to make health insurance more affordable.

April Vanderpool recently lost her job and is now uninsured. For the first time, she has to come to Remote Area Medical's free clinic for health care.

"I got my teeth done, the dental, and I saw the medical part yesterday," said Vanderpool.

According to RAM volunteers, 600 people were served three years ago at the Maryville location. This weekend, 1,000 people were helped.

Dr. Marye Lois McCroskey has volunteered with RAM for eight years. She says more people are coming in for the free care.

"Folks have lost their job, lost benefits. They have lost homes, more bills and they don't have insurance and access to care that they used to have," said McCroskey.

Under the law, in 2014 individuals will be required to have health insurance coverage or pay a fee.

There are exceptions. Employers with more than 50 employees will be required to provide employees health insurance or pay a monetary penalty. Insurance companies must cover pre-existing conditions.

Dr. McCroskey there is still uncertainty of whether the Affordable Care Act has done the opposite of what was intended, to make insurance more affordable.

"With employers being uncertain of how it's going to affect their businesses they are scaling back on benefits some for their employees, and were seeing an increasing need here, particularly in the short run," said Dr. McCroskey.

Carol Bompart is a nurse practitioner and RAM volunteer. She says the Affordable Care Act will help some, but the free medical services will still be needed.

"Even if you have general medical coverage there are still people who fall through the cracks. There are a lot of people who fall through the cracks," said Bompart.

Vanderpool believes the Affordable Care Act won't benefit all Americans.

"I don't like it very much. [President Obama] wants everybody to be on insurance. So what are the elderly and everybody supposed to do?" Vanderpool asked.

While she has doubts of the law's success, she's glad groups like RAM are here to help.

"I'm very appreciative. I'm so glad they are here to help us," said Vanderpool.

The next free Remote Area Medical clinic will be September 21-22. The free clinic will be in Clinton at the First Baptist Church, 225 North Main St.

Organizers say you need to be in line by 3 a.m. on September 21 to get a ticket. The doors open at 6 a.m.

Medical, dental and vision services will be provided.

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